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Carine Fabius

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When Everything Goes Black

Posted: 09/23/07 05:01 PM ET

When I meet people who tell me that they check their email once a month, or worse, don't do email, I say in my most sarcastic tone, "Oh, you're one of those." They're so annoying (Jesus, now I have to call them when I need them.). Still, I hate technology. As far as I'm concerned, computers are the enemy. Anything you have an unhealthy dependence on -- like drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and good-looking men who treat you like shit -- is bad news, no? As I was writing this, my document disappeared and I was informed the application unexpectedly quit, so I had to start over! Ah, the sweet irony of life. My computer also froze last night, so I had to wait until morning to call someone. Everything is backed up on an external hard drive so I wasn't panicking about that. I just hated the frankin' thing. I hate cell phones, too. What did you say? I didn't hear you. You're cutting out, I'm going through a bad zone. Let me call you back. Oh, you're not even there anymore... Hi, yeah, the phone went dead. Sorry. So, you were saying? You were calling just to tell me that? I'm driving for God's sake. Why didn't you just call my office and leave me a message? And those stupid blackberries. Oh, sure I love it when I email someone, and even if their wife is giving birth, they can get right back to me from the delivery room, but man, do I hate it when I'm sitting across from you at a restaurant, and you interrupt our conversation to check that thing every goddamn time it goes off. You couldn't have waited until after dinner to check your messages? Is everything that important? For the most part, nothing is all that important. Trust me, I know. I don't own a blackberry but it's not like I've never engaged in that obnoxious behavior with its more primitive sister, my other enemy, the cell phone. I also hate the internet. It's convinced me that I can have instant satisfaction, which just makes me more impatient than ever. Yes, it's true that I was able to find a really cool photo of a wolf online, then have it magically appear on my monitor as a screensaver; but when I can't launch Safari due to some frankin' technological breakdown, and can't make my flight arrangements, do research or track that important package from shoemall.com -- I resent it to the point where I feel someone should tie me down before I hurt myself. Thanks, Al Gore. I know you didn't invent it, but you helped.

One time, Bill Maher was in the middle of his New Rule shtick when his teleprompter went down. Quicker than you can say, bloody hell! he whipped out a set of index cards from his pocket and carried on without missing a beat. Whew! I bet he hated technology that night, and really appreciated good, old-fashioned pen and paper. I can barely write with a pen and paper anymore -- my handwriting now looks all jagged and weird and I have to scratch words out a lot because aside from signing my name, I use the keyboard for everything. I hate that. Technology is also responsible for the very pleasant and almost daily experience of nose-diving into voicemail hell. They should have an option that goes: "Press 10 if you want to say 'frank you.' What's a hypocritical technology-hater like me to do? Take a stand and become one of those annoying idiots who can never be reached? Keep wishing there was a way to turn back the clock? I don't, really; I'm too dependent. In any case, technology hasn't figured out a way to do that yet (travel back in time). But the future does hold promise of ever more dehumanizing, frustrating, stress-making technological "advances" that will scream out for simple human ingenuity when everything goes black. Keep those pencils sharpened!